Wildfires

Report: Newsom walking back Brown’s wildfire prevention plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is walking back a wildfire prevention plan initially put in place by former Gov. Jerry Brown, according to a new report. 

Capitol Public Radio reported Tuesday that Newsom’s plan is to treat 500,000 acres a year by 2025 for fuel reduction and prescribed burns. 

Brown signed an executive order in 2018 mandating that the state reach the 500,000 acre threshold by 2023. 

But Newsom’s new goal for 2025 comes from an agreement with President Donald Trump last year, which included promises from the Federal government to treat the forests. 

Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot told the radio station that Newsom is under no obligation to follow Brown’s initial plan. 

“I can’t speak to what the last administration was focused on or hypothesize on what the last governor had identified or had targeted,” Crowfoot said. 

The Newsom administration also slashed half a billion dollars in promised fuel reduction spending. 

Newsom had previously called for over $700 million in wildfire prevention funds in the state’s budget, and the Legislature put a $1 billion total in its budget bill. 

However, the budget that Newsom ultimately approved only included $458 million for wildfire prevention. 

Newsom’s wildfire circuit comes shortly after it was revealed that he severely overstated his success in wildfire prevention treatment. 

Last week, a report also claimed Newsom was off by 690 percent, saying state projects cleared through 90,000 acres of forest. Instead, those projects only resulted in 11,399 acres that were treated.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.